Technology breakthroughs are changing the automotive industry
The Race to make cars safer
It’s assumed by most that today’s cars are much safer than those built 40-50 (or even 20) years ago. Yet how true is that assumption? Statistics do indeed show that auto accident fatalities have dropped significantly in recent years, much of that due to advanced safety features incorporated into vehicle design. Exactly how safe are today’s cars? One might be surprised by the answer.
the future has come
Tomorrow's technology here today
In years past, something as seemingly simple as a rear-end collision could result in massive vehicle damage and injuries, resulting in significant expenses that often required one to call a car wreck attorney in order to get compensated. However, advances in the fabrication of the most basic component of cars – steel – now allow vehicles to absorb most of the impact energy generated in a crash before it ever has a chance to reach their occupants.
The advances don’t end with steel; automakers have begun to look beyond designing crash safety systems to address time zero (an auto industry term describing the moment an accident begins). This includes researching those situations that commonly result in car accidents, such as objects or vehicles suddenly entering one’s lane, or cases of drowsy or distracted drivers. This understanding has allowed for the development of accident avoidance systems.
The technology to create accident avoidance systems is already in use on several current vehicles; it’s simply a matter of getting different components to work in concert to allow for features such as automatic braking and lane departure warnings. How far can this technology go? Designers are currently at work on vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology, and even systems that monitor real-time driver performance, with the end goal being to develop completely autonomous vehicles.
reaching the goal
We still have more to do
Of course, even advances in vehicle technology may not eliminate the potential for accidents any time soon. There are still countless older vehicles on the road whose safety features seem archaic compared to today’s standards (many driven by at-risk drivers, such as teens or the elderly). And of course, drivers themselves (and their collective bad driving habits) still represent the greatest challenge when it comes to automotive safety.